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The crypto thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Moriarte, Oct 3, 2021.

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?

What do you prefer?

This poll will close on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:52 PM.
  1. Bitcoin

  2. Ethereum

  3. Binance Coin

  4. Cardano

  5. Fiat

  6. Go away, I deal in coke and gold bars

  7. Privacy coins

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    I was thinking where to acquaint wonderful people of CFC with interesting developments in crypto space and it dawned on me we haven’t got a general thread! We do have bitcoin and El Salvador threads, but both are relatively narrow manifestations of a much larger process, which is unfolding in the world at a formidable pace, right now. So, you have a critique, a rant, a question, a comment, would like to share news? A fresh crypto joke? You are welcome to do it here.

    Few years back I channeled my love for IT, which was building up since I was ~13, into constructing few crypto “farms”. The process and the possibilities ahead blew me away back then and I still maintain there is considerable merit to be had from digitalising our economies in the way bitcoin and it’s successors are proposing. Cryptography, infrastructures, the currencies, interoperability, governance - are complicated, technical topics, where only a small esoteric group of techies dispersed around the world really know what they are talking about. On top of that, as it goes, there dwell a million con artists pitching crypto kitties, NFT’s and other pyramid schemes.

    Here’s a piece news that caught my attention today:

    https://cointelegraph.com/news/federal-high-court-of-nigeria-approves-enaira-cbdc-rollout

    Oh, and since CFC is a democracy, let’s have a poll!
     
    El_Machinae and The_J like this.
  2. Gelion

    Gelion Captain

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    I like to collect CCGs. Some I bought many years ago, some I bought last week. Some have great value because they are out of print, some do not. I heard a rumour from a friend of a sister of an uncle of my dentist that they will release super cards next week and if I sit in a tent for a few days in from the of the shop then I can get a few of those and hold on to them because I am not an idiot to sell them too soon.

    Jokes aside, if you feel you can make money from this new market circus go ahead just don't put your life savings into it. Crypto is just coded timber stamps that could be accepted as valid currency.
     
  3. amadeus

    amadeus Techbrophobe

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    I don’t see much use for it in countries that have competent central banks. In cases where you have governments that inflate the currency or have a bogus official foreign exchange rate, they could be useful for circumventing those systems.

    Its use now though from what I see is that they’re little more than speculative investments, and I’m not even wholly comfortable with calling it an investment with that there isn’t a whole lot to base a buy or sell order on than the price.
     
    Hygro likes this.
  4. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    Crypto is a speculative investment. Just like Beanie Babies, or comic books, or baseball cards. I'd never advise anyone putting money they can't afford to lose into it, but if you have money *you absolutely can afford to lose & want to speculate with*, I'd say go for it.

    I've got some money in Etherium, which I bought into when I heard that Marvel was going to start taking Etherium for unique art NFTs. It's done okay. Wildly up & down over time, but currently up about $1k over where I bought it. As a counter-anecdote to my "logical" purchase, my best crypto investment was buying 10 TERRA "coins", which is now about 8x what I paid for it (so, like $40 at the moment). My reasoning? It's named after my favorite comic book character from Teen Titans.

    So there is no rhyme or reason, but there isn't to most speculative collectibles. For example, going back to comic books, I bought the first appearance of Squirrel Girl (Marvel Super Heroes #8) in 9.8 grade a few years back & it's quadrupled in price as she's gained in popularity. I bought the first appearance of Deadpool (again, in 9.8 grade) years ago for $300 on ebay. It's now worth about $2,000.

    People who bought a bunch of Dogecoin when it was under $0.01 (I didn't) made out like bandits when it "skyrocketed" to $0.70 (it's now under $0.30). So my advice consists of two points, & this goes for any speculative collectible, including crypto: 1) Only use money you can afford to lose; 2) buy what you like, for whatever reason gives you enjoyment.

    EDIT: Like most people in any collectibles environment, I completely omitted all my fails, & only mentioned my successes. :)
     
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  5. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Is there an option for "I prefer my rainforests where they are" (accounting for existing and ongoing deforestation)? :p

    But for real - is there scope here to discuss our opinions on the real-world ramifications of cryptocurrencies?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
    El_Machinae and Moriarte like this.
  6. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    IMO, even as someone who's bought some of it, I'd welcome that, but I'm not the OP. From what I've heard, crypto is godawful for the environment due to the energy costs to "mine" it.
     
  7. amadeus

    amadeus Techbrophobe

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    Ordinary schlubs like me, don’t understand the calculations and “wallets” and “open-source ledgers” and whatever else goes into it.

    A friend of mine tried to explain it to me. This is a revolution! The future is blockchain. What does that mean? Well, buy it low and sell it high. How does it work? Blockchain!

    BLOCKCHAIN
     
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  8. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

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    No Radioactive Monkey option....:mad:
     
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  9. amadeus

    amadeus Techbrophobe

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    Do I smell an opportunity for “art”? Stay tuned!
     
  10. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Or give it to someone who will do something useful with it.
    Doesn't even have to be me, could be a charity or a campaigning group or church, whatever you think is worthwhile.
     
  11. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    No crypto for me. 14 months ago I bought Apple as a spec stock: $111 ---> $142.
     
    Moriarte likes this.
  12. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    I mean, that goes for everything we spend our disposable income on. I give to charities (not a big religious guy though), I help my brother & my sister-in-law support my nephews, but I also buy the first comics appearance of Squirrel Girl for myself when I want to. *shrug*
     
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  13. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    You are not wrong: it costs energy to produce something. “Godawful” is subjective though. We need to compare energy costs to something in order to conclude that it’s godawful. Let’s take bitcoin, for argument’s sake. The biggest, the oldest, the dirtiest. It poses as a “native internet currency”, as Jack Dorsey says, or potentially a world currency. It makes sense to compare it to the banking sector, which runs old school world currencies. The whole of world banking system, which facilitates the functioning of USD, EUR, Yuan, etc should be evaluated in regard to energy costs. Banking sector means buildings of steel, glass and concrete; it’s data centres all over the globe, it’s Visa and Mastercard. A network of ATM machines and POS terminals, piles of paper cash and institutions of people leaving the energy footprint. While it is relatively easy to estimate bitcoin (BTC) energy use, it’s actually very difficult to calculate banking sector’s energy footprint, but Galaxy Digital tried and you can see the result in the picture attached. Here’s the extended version of what they are saying, or if you want the full report by Galaxy Digital, look it up:

    Short version: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/galaxy-digital-bitcoin-consumes-less-064229894.html
    Full version: https://docsend.com/view/adwmdeeyfvqwecj2

    Regardless, old money is just static. Cryptos, on the other hand, are in constant development. Newer cryptos are already functioning within a proof-of-stake framework, some old ones are in the process of transitioning. That means orders of magnitude lower energy consumption. The constantly evolving technology behind crypto is what we want, because it is way more cost efficient. It’s what we do in this day and age - we make software and then we polish it. Currencies are no exception. Now, whether we want cryptos to centralise under umbrella of oversight or stay decentralised (or become government-controlled) is a separate interesting question I don’t have the answer to.

     
  14. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Which begs the question - just because cryptocurrencies can migrate to apparently-cheaper forms of consumption, does that mean we ignore the cost it took them to get to where they are? Do we ignore the ones that don't transition?

    It's all very well to try and compare the output of one single cryptocurrency to the . . . entire global banking system(s), but that seems like a rather skewed perspective to be starting from. What does it look like once we stack up all of the existing cryptocurrencies? What happens when we consider the impact on NFTs on the Etherium chain alone? How about we look at how mining has impacted the real-world hardware market for both consumers and professionals in that space (which has knock on real-money effects on a whole load of other things that get backed up because the foundation of "needing new hardware" is unable to be fulfilled)?

    In my experience, every single argument - like yours presented here, @Moriarte - is "but look at how bad these other things are". Sure. That isn't an argument to massively increase our existing energy consumption to support what is, on the whole, an incredibly new and barely-supported form of currency, in my opinion. A short version would be: more of a bad thing isn't a good thing.

    Here's a different piece on the Galaxy Digital findings:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/hershshefrin/2021/07/08/the-great-bitcoin-electricity-debate/

    (I was going to provide a Fortune piece but it's registration-walled or pay-walled and I haven't had my coffee to work out which yet)

    EDIT

    If we want to split off the more critical analysis to another thread btw, I understand :) I'm not here to sit around pooh-poohing the whole thing endlessly, though obviously I am critical of it.

    In its current existence, similar to what some folks have already said they used it for (and the Forbes piece mentions towards the end), it just seems like another way of trading. A way to make a bit of money, or lose a lot, depending on your level of investment and market sense.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  15. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    My argument, on the whole, is this: we can eventually replace the “other things” with better, more effective things, as was the case many times in recorded history. Of course, first we must fully understand and agree why one option is better than the other. If there’s evolution in accessibility, savings in resources, labor, then clearly we will gravitate towards a more efficient option.

    No question, the comparison is flawed. Perhaps one day someone talented will find a fancier way of explaining that few lines of code cost cheaper than a manhattan skyscraper.

    By all means, don’t ignore anything you don’t want ignored. I appreciate your contribution, by the way and you being critical. Blast away. It’s important.

    As for hardware shortage - it’s a deep systemic problem. Cars, engineers, scientists, gamers, miners, who doesn’t need operations/second? I think the ultimate solution lies in centralisation. A public transport of sorts, for information networks. Huge datacenters renting out calculation time to the people via cloud. It’s already happening in several industries and there will be more of it.
     
  16. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    Poll needs monero. Crypto is for buying things you do not want on your visa bill, and monero is best for this, therefore monero is best.

    Proof of stake seems like it should be the solution to the environmental harm, but I have not actually figured out how this works WRT privacy.

    To add some critical numbers to the energy use graph above:
    • There were 368.92 billion purchase transactions for goods and services worldwide in 2018.
    • Bitcoin transactions 3th Oct = 218112, * 365 = <80 million per year
     
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  17. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    So, if we take the numbers posted above at face value*, Bitcoin needs at least 2000 times more energy than the banking system per transaction. Godawful indeed. And it scales badly, so this is only going to get worse.

    * It is obviously quite naive to assume that the banking system only does money transactions.
     
  18. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    When smart contracts go wrong, or $90m for one character

    Robert Leshner, founder of decentralized finance biz Compound Labs, has asked for the return of roughly $90m worth of COMP tokens after a smart contract bug distributed more of the cryptocurrency than it should have.

    COMP tokens get distributed on a daily basis to users of the Compound protocol. They grant holders a say in the communal governance of the protocol, which is used for financial transactions like borrowing and lending with cryptocurrencies.

    "A few hours ago, Proposal 62 went into effect, updating the Comptroller contract, which distributes COMP to users of the protocol," said Leshner on Wednesday, via Twitter. "The new Comptroller contract contains a bug, causing some users to receive far too much COMP."
    According to Leshner, at most 280,000 tokens were wrongly distributed. At the current COMP token value of about $322, that's more than 90m US dollars.
    On Thursday, Leshner pleaded for the tokens to be returned, offering to let Good Samaritans keep 10 per cent, and hinting at consequences for those who fail to comply. They threatened to dox users who did not pay back the monies.

    The bug, according to blockchain security researcher Mudit Gupta, consists of a single character: the Compound code update used a > operator where it should have used >=.
     
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  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    If I recall, bitcoin's damage is caused because the price is what creates mining (until mining is no longer directly rewarded at least). So, it's not so much bitcoin causing the damage, it's the buying-and-holding plus the expectation of rising demand that causes the damage.

    The majority of my hesitation on bitcoin itself is that once the coins stop coming (or the prices falls), all of the incentives for updating the block chain changes. And, afaict, just undergoes a strong drive towards becoming a monopoly due to natural market forces.

    I've said previously, I should really figure out what I'd want in a crypto, because that would be information regarding which will eventually win. But, honestly, I don't know why I'd want some except to eventually trade for more real money.
     
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  20. RobAnybody

    RobAnybody Emperor

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    That's a good way of looking at it: what do I want?* I don't want Bitcoin, although mainly because that window has closed. If I'm looking to invest disposable income in a speculative asset, what do I want to get into?

    For me, it was mostly 1) Etherium, because it was announced that Marvel is accepting it in payment (a semi-logical reason at least), & 2) TERRA, because it's named after my favorite super hero from Teen Titans (a completely illogical reason that has outperformed my "logical" reason). If someone has a completely logical "investment" strategy, I'm open to it, but right now it appears all so illogical that "just buy what you like" (which is my philosophy in any collectible that could potentially appreciate in value), seems as valid a strategy as any.

    *El_Mac - I actually think you meant put more thought into that question than I clearly did, but it's my approach as well, just with not a whole lot of thought.
     

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